Who You Don’t Want To Clean!

Today, let’s talk about deciding who you don’t want to clean …and why.

Let me tell you a quick story,

When Tony and I first started we would do nearly any kind of cleaning, and some things that weren’t really cleaning at all.

Let’s see, we:

-stripped and waxed retail stores,

-resealed concrete in a commercial laundry,

-opened up a reception hall for weddings, and oh yeah, hooked up the pop canisters too,

-mowed the front lawn and took the trash to the curb at a small neighborhood office

So, as you can see, we were running around doing a real “hodge podge” of things.

Frankly, it wasn’t going so well.

We couldn’t seem to grow because we had our hands “full” just trying to keep up with all the different kinds of jobs we had going already.

We were running as fast as we could, like “hamsters on a wheel in a cage”; not getting anywhere, until…

We decided we’d had enough.

We made an important decision. We decided who we didn’t want to clean - at least, a list of the kinds of accounts we didn’t want to go after in the future.

Nothing less than twice per week.

No one-time only jobs.

No jobs where all we do is the floors.

Nothing where we can’t get a key to get in and out.

Nothing that can’t be started until very late at night.

No odd-ball jobs not relating to cleaning.

No more!

Those were some of the ones on our list, as I recall. Your list may be completely different but you should have a list, probably written down… but a mental list at least.

It is NOT laziness, or an unwillingness to help a potential customer.

It’s survival! You simply cannot afford to everything to everyone.

And, frankly, the sooner you decide what the rules are for doing business with you, the better.

I know that might sound harsh.
This is hard to do for many of us.

We’re taught from when we’re very young to help anyone, anyway we can, anytime we can. So it’s hard to get your “head around” this idea of limiting what you’ll do for potential customers.

But you have to do it, if you ever want things to run smoothly.

You shouldn’t have to run around frantically having to change everything about your company, just so you never have to turn down a prospect – no matter what they need.

You deserve better, and frankly …so do your customers.

Put another way, just because someone says they need cleaning doesn’t automatically mean they’re the right customer for you or frankly, that you’re the right contractor for them.

Focus on a specific type of customer, and you stand your best chance at becoming a specialist at providing “their kind” of cleaning for “their kind” of building.

And then, with a new focus on a new, tighter target market, you might finally have a chance to “delight your customers” and “have a life” outside of your cleaning company.

This approach can allow you to focus your marketing and selling efforts at one, or at most, a few types of niches.

But don’t you lose out on jobs this way?

Yes, by deciding what you won’t do, you will be turning down work. It’s the price you pay for getting focused on the kind of work you want to do, so you can create the kind of life you deserve!

Don’t get me wrong.

It may take you a while to make this change over to servicing only places that fit into your new, tighter, target market – or, you may simply decide to hold onto all of your current accounts, no matter what kind they are, forever, or at least until you’re able to replace them with enough profitable ones from your NEW niche.

Plus, to be fair, we make, and have made exceptions too.

For example, even after we decided on who what kind of cleaning we wanted to avoid - we still provided early AM day porter services, clean plants, and even pick weeds for some of our clients.

BUT, and this is important, it’s one thing to agree to pick a few weeds once a month for a $2,900/mo. account, and quite another, to be mowing the lawn every week for a $165/mo. account.

AND, it’s one thing to clean artificial plants occasionally for a large 5x/ week facility for $4,700 per month., and quite another, to have to figure out how to get a floor crew to show up late at night at a small hair salon, to buff the floors 1x/ week for – $165 per trip.

You get the idea.

Please leave your comments below. Thanks, Dan

15 Responses to “Who You Don’t Want To Clean!”

  1. Marla Hughes says:

    Dan, excellent article. I’ve seen you around LinkedIn in some of the groups I belong to. Thanks for the link to this article as it drew me in to check you out more closely. Expect me to be here more often and I’m signing up for your newsletter.

  2. dendy lanot says:

    i love you, Dan! thank you!

  3. e.fletcher says:

    Hi Dan, Thanks for the article, it was actually right on time. My Fiance and I were just discussing how to start weeding out the type of jobs that we don’t want to take on. Great information.

  4. DLiebrecht says:

    Earl, thanks for the note! Glad you found the message useful. Wishing you much success in your cleaning business!! Dan

  5. Tatiana says:

    Thank you , Dan

  6. Quiana says:

    Thanks, that just helped me out because I found myself taking jobs I really didn’t want I just didn’t want to lose out my focus is industrial cleaning, question how do I target on those types of business?

  7. DLiebrecht says:

    Hi Quina, thanks for your note! Good news! You can find a lot of info/answers about how you can target a specific kind of account in the resources tab at cleanbid.net. There are articles, blogs that discuss how to create a targeted list and then how to find out the contact at those buildings. Hope that helps and wishing you much success in your cleaning business. Clean Guru LLC

  8. willy says:

    I like this , it make a lot of cent

  9. DLiebrecht says:

    Hi Willy, thanks and wishing you much success in your cleaning business. Dan, Clean Guru LLC

  10. Karen Ebelhar says:

    As a newly opened company this article has been very helpful.
    I truly enjoy reading the information that you publish and share with us.
    Thank you

  11. CleanGuru says:

    Karen, thanks! Glad you find my videos and emails helpful. Wishing you much success in your cleaning business. Hope our resources and software can help along the way, Dan, CleanGuru LLC

  12. Yvonne says:

    Spot-on Dan right now at crossroads on who is my tight target.

  13. Yvonne says:

    For 15 years I have had a target that seemed to be working well , but some clients take months to settle our invoices and we do not end the contracts. It has really tied up our cash flows.

    Thank you for this article! I am definately signing up fir your newsletters.

  14. CleanGuru says:

    Thanks Yvonne, glad to have you with us! Dan, CleanGuru LLC

  15. CleanGuru says:

    Thanks Yvonne, wishing you much success in your cleaning business and hope our info and software can be of help, Dan, CleanGuru LLC

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